A Surprise in Uruguay

20 December 2011, Jose Ignacio, Uruguay

Our last leg of the trip was a small beach town about 30 minutes east of Punta del Este in Uruguay – a town called Jose Ignacio. You could walk through “downtown” in about 10 minutes and we spent most of the time relaxing on the beach.

Expecting our wine consumption leg of the trip to be in its denouement, we decided to focus instead on the meat. Our last big meal for the trip was dinner at Garzon – a Francis Mallmann restaurant in a tiny town about an hour drive from Jose Ignacio. Our last experience at a Mallmann restaurant was in 1884 in Mendoza which yielded the best steak Nard or I ever had:

Greatest steak in the world: Gran Bistec @ 1884 in Mendoza - for a sense of relative size, check out the knife

The food at Garzon was incredible but the biggest surprise of the meal were the two Uruguayan wines we found. Both made by Familia Deicas, the 2004 Garage Chardonnay was hands down the best white wine of the trip. Diane pointed out that it had a very similar taste and finish to an anfora aged white (like Gravner’s wines):

2004 Familia Deicas Garage Chardonnay

We followed that up with a bottle of their 2007 Cru D’Exception Merlot. One of the most aromatic Merlots I’ve ever had with a smooth introduction and a long finish:

2007 Familia Deicas Cru D'Exception Merlot

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts using wine-searcher, I still haven’t been able to find any retailer in any country that sells either of these wines. I’m debating emailing the Uruguayan embassy in New York to see if they can help.

*** 2004 Familia Deicas Garage Chardonnay

** 2007 Familia Deicas Cru D’Exception Merlot